Tom Wolf

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Tom Wolf
Governor Tom Wolf official portrait 2015.jpg
47th Governor of Pennsylvania
Assumed office
January 20, 2015
LieutenantMike Stack
John Fetterman (Elect)
Preceded byTom Corbett
Secretary of Revenue of Pennsylvania
In office
April 25, 2007 – November 30, 2008
GovernorEd Rendell
Preceded byGregory Fajt
Succeeded byStephen Stetler
Personal details
Born
Thomas Westerman Wolf

(1948-11-17) November 17, 1948 (age 70)
Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
Frances Donnelly (m. 1975)
Children2
EducationDartmouth College (AB)
University of London (MPhil)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD)
Signature
WebsiteGovernment website

Dr. Thomas Westerman Wolf (born November 17, 1948) is an American politician, businessman and the 47th Governor of Pennsylvania since January 20, 2015.[1] A Democrat, he was elected in the 2014 gubernatorial election and re-elected in 2018. Prior to his election as Governor, Wolf was the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue from April 2007 to November 2008 and an executive in his family-owned business.

Early life and education[edit]

Wolf was born and raised in Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, the son of Cornelia Rohlman (née Westerman) and William Trout Wolf, a business executive.[2][3][4] His hometown was named after his ancestor, who was the town's postmaster.[5]

He was raised Methodist[6] but is now affiliated with the Episcopal Church.[7]

Wolf graduated from The Hill School, a boarding school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, in 1967.[8] He went on to receive an A.B. in government,[9] magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College in 1972, an M.Phil. from the University of London in 1978, and a Ph.D. in political science[10] from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981.[11] While a student at Dartmouth, Wolf joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in India.[12][13][14]

After earning his Ph.D., his dissertation on the United States House of Representatives was named the best of 1981 by the American Political Science Association.[15] Wolf turned down an opportunity to interview for a tenure-track faculty position at Harvard University to begin his career at The Wolf Organization as manager of a True Value store owned by the company.[15]

He met his wife, Frances, at school and married her in 1975. They have two adult daughters.[16]

Business and early political career[edit]

He purchased The Wolf Organization in 1985 with two partners. During the administration of Governor Robert P. Casey, Wolf served on an economic development board and on the Pennsylvania Legislative Commission on Urban Schools.[17]

After selling his company to a private equity firm in 2006, Wolf was nominated in January 2007 by then-Governor Ed Rendell to be the Secretary of Revenue of Pennsylvania. He served in that position on Rendell's cabinet from his April 2007 confirmation by the Pennsylvania State Senate until resigning in November 2008.[10][11][13] He had planned to run for Governor of Pennsylvania in the 2010 election, but ultimately did not in order to repurchase the Wolf Organization, which was facing bankruptcy.[10][13][17] Wolf continued to serve as an executive in The Wolf Organization until his election as governor. He served as chairman and chief executive officer until stepping down from the latter position in December 2013 to focus on his gubernatorial campaign[18] and from the board altogether in December 2014 following his election.[19]

Wolf serves as chair of the York County United Way, the York County Community Foundation, the York College board of trustees, and as chairman of the York County Chamber of Commerce. He has also been active in the York Jewish Community Center, the Memorial Hospital of York, and a regional public television system.[20]

Governor of Pennsylvania[edit]

2014 election[edit]

On April 2, 2013, Wolf announced his candidacy for Governor of Pennsylvania in the 2014 election. He pledged $10 million of his personal wealth toward the primary election, with an intent to raise at least $5 million from supporters throughout the state. He was the third person to announce candidacy, following John Hanger of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Max Meyers, a minister from Cumberland County, but at least four others were expected to join the race.[21]

By March 2014, several polls suggested Wolf was the front-runner in the race for the Democratic nomination following an extensive television campaign as well as field operative Brendan Murray's effort in traditionally Republican central Pennsylvania.[22][23][24] A Franklin & Marshall College poll conducted in late February 2014 showed Wolf with a 27-point lead over his nearest competitor, Allyson Schwartz,[25] and a Harper poll showed him leading Schwartz by 26 percentage points,[26] as did an additional Franklin & Marshall poll in late March 2014.[27]

In late April and early May, Wolf faced attacks from fellow candidate Rob McCord over his association with controversial former York, Pennsylvania, mayor Charlie Robertson.[28] Allyson Schwartz also accused Wolf's campaign of plagiarizing his "Fresh Start" plan from an energy equipment company.[29] Despite the attacks, a Muhlenberg College/Morning Call poll suggested Wolf continued to lead with 38% to Schwartz's 13% and McCord's 11%.[30]

Wolf takes the oath of office as Governor on January 20, 2015

In the May 20 primary, Wolf defeated Schwartz, McCord, and Katie McGinty to win the Democratic nomination for governor. He faced incumbent Republican Governor Tom Corbett in the November general election.[31] Heading into the final two months of the campaign, a number of polls indicated a varying but consistent advantage for Wolf over Corbett. Although Corbett slightly narrowed the deficit as the election approached, Wolf maintained a persistent lead in the race.[32][33][34][35] On November 4, Wolf was elected governor with 54.9% of the vote.[36][37] He was the first challenger to oust a sitting governor since governors became eligible for immediate reelection in 1968.

First term[edit]

Governor Wolf as he signs an executive order to ban fracking in state parks on January 29, 2015 while others look on

Wolf assumed office as the 47th Governor of Pennsylvania upon the expiration of Corbett's term on January 20, 2015, with the inaugural ceremony occurring in front of the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg.[38] Upon taking office, Wolf opted not to move into the Pennsylvania Governor's Residence, instead commuting from his home in York. A spokesman for Wolf said the residence would still be used for official events and other functions.[39] Shortly after being sworn in, Wolf signed two executive orders banning gifts to state employees and requiring a bidding process for outside legal contracts.[40] Wolf also restored a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", in state parks[41] and placed a moratorium on the death penalty in Pennsylvania.[42] His most significant executive action in his first days in office was his move to fully expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Wolf proposed his first budget in March 2015, which included an increase in education spending, reductions in property taxes and the corporate tax, and a new severance tax on natural gas.[43] Six months into his tenure, in July 2015, the websites OnTheIssues and InsideGov namd Wolf the most liberal incumbent governor in the United States, based on a rating of public statements and press releases among other measures; Wolf rejected this assessment, arguing that his policies are directed by practicality rather than ideology.[44][45]

On July 1, 2015, Wolf vetoed a budget submitted to him by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, causing a budget dispute between the governor's office and the legislature. This marked the first time a Pennsylvania governor vetoed a budget bill in its entirety since Milton Shapp did so in 1976.[46] Wolf argued the budget was not balanced, disputing Republicans' claim that it would provide increased funding in certain areas without raising taxes.[47][48] A point of dispute in the budget process was the proposed privatization of Pennsylvania's wine and liquor sales, which Wolf opposes.[49] The state operated without a full budget for 267 days—the longest period without a full budget in Pennsylvania history–until the 2015-16 budget became law without Wolf's signature in March 2016.[50][51]

In January 2016, Wolf announced the launch of the "It's On Us PA" campaign, which aims to expand awareness of sexual assault in schools and on college campuses.[52] Wolf made the announcement at Elizabethtown College.[53] This announcement made Pennsylvania the first state to implement a statewide campaign that called for a collaboration of schools, law enforcement, victim services organizations, and other community members to promote awareness, education, and bystander intervention of sexual violence specifically on school campuses.[54] Several schools, including Franklin and Marshall College, Butler County Community College, as well as the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Chancellor Frank Brogan signed on to the initiative. On November 30, 2016, Wolf announced the awarding of "It's On Us PA" grants of one million dollars to 36 post-secondary schools in the state to combat sexual violence on their campuses. Programs considered for funding included but were not limited to those that enhanced awareness of available resources as well as the rights of students and, most importantly, to increase mechanisms for anonymous reporting.[55]

Wolf has expressed his opposition to targeting countries with economic sanctions or boycotts, saying, "We ... will not encourage economic punishment in place of peaceful solutions to challenging conflicts."[56]

He has signed into law bills that legalized medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, reformed pensions, and expanded the number of offenses former criminal defendants could get sealed, among other legislation.

On February 24, 2016, Wolf announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Because it was diagnosed early, he said it would not hinder his ability to work.[57] Following treatment, Wolf's spokesperson announced in January 2017 that Wolf's physician had given him a "clean bill of health".[58]

Wolf declared Pennsylvania's heroin and opioid addiction crisis a statewide emergency in January 2018. Pennsylvania became the eighth state to do so. Such a declaration lets Pennsylvania officials "override any current rules or regulations they perceive as hampering the state's ability to address the opioid epidemic".[59]

During his time in office, he eliminated the "capital stock tax," which is a tax on the value of a business' assets.[60]

2018 election[edit]

Wolf successfully ran for re-election to a second term in 2018, and was uncontested in the Democratic primary.[61] He defeated Republican State Senator Scott Wagner in the general election on November 8, 2018, with approximately 57% of the vote.[62] He is the first Pennsylvania governor to win election twice while losing both times in his home county (since 1968, when a new state constitution permitted governors to run for consecutive terms).[63]

Electoral history[edit]

Democratic gubernatorial primary results, 2014[64]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tom Wolf 488,917 57.86
Democratic Allyson Schwartz 149,027 17.64
Democratic Rob McCord 142,311 16.84
Democratic Kathleen McGinty 64,754 7.66
Total votes 845,009 100
Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 2014[65]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tom Wolf 1,920,355 54.93
Republican Tom Corbett (incumbent) 1,575,511 45.07
Total votes 3,495,866 100
Democratic gain from Republican
}}
Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 2018[66]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tom Wolf (incumbent) 2,850,210 57.7
Republican Scott Wagner 2,015,266 40.8
Other Other 75,916 1.5
Total votes 4,941,342 100
Democratic hold

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sen. Harris Wofford's Advisory Committee on Judicial and U.S. Attorney Nominations for the Middle District". Times Leader. Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  2. ^ "Tom Wolf Profile: Perfect Stranger". Philadelphia Magazine.
  3. ^ "Notices". York Gazette and Daily. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  4. ^ Who's who in Finance and Industry. Marquis Who's Who. 1987. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  5. ^ Fitzgerald, Thomas (May 12, 2014). "Tom Wolf seeks to bring small-town ethos to gubernatorial race". Philly.com. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  6. ^ Esack, Steve (May 9, 2014). "Tom Wolf runs as gentleman politician". The Morning Call. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  7. ^ McColgan, Flint (January 17, 2015). "Tom Wolf's Inauguration Day activities begin in York and end in Hershey". Lebanon Daily News. Archived from the original on January 28, 2015. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  8. ^ "Hill alumnus Tom Wolf '67 elected Pennsylvania Governor". The Hill School. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  9. ^ O'Toole, James (October 12, 2014). "As Tom Wolf seeks the Pennsylvania governor's office, political life comes full circle". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  10. ^ a b c O'Toole, James (March 13, 2014). "York's Wolf spending own fortune in his bid for governor". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  11. ^ a b "About Us – Thomas W. Wolf, Secretary". www.revenue.state.pa.us. Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Archived from the original on August 10, 2007.
  12. ^ "2014 Election Watch". Committee of Seventy. Archived from the original on February 25, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  13. ^ a b c Sidhu, Sonia (September 17, 2013). "Penn Dems to host Pa. gov candidate Tom Wolf". The Daily Pennsylvanian. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  14. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (January 23, 2015). "Pennsylvania's Governor Breaks Through a G.O.P. Tide". The New York Times. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  15. ^ a b Klein, Julia M. "The Unlikely Governor". Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  16. ^ "Meet Tom Wolf". Tom Wolf for Governor. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  17. ^ a b "Tom Wolf says he won't run for governor". York Daily Record. February 4, 2009. Archived from the original on March 15, 2014. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  18. ^ Levy, Marc (March 5, 2014). "Company gives info in Democrat's race for Pa. gov". Associated Press. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  19. ^ Field, Nick (November 7, 2014). "PA-Gov Round-Up: The End". PoliticsPA. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  20. ^ "Thomas W. Wolf". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
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  22. ^ http://www.wolfforpa.com/sections/blog/brendan-murray-transitions-from-volunteer-to-field-organizer
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  26. ^ "Pennsylvania Democratic Primary Poll". Harper Polling. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  27. ^ Durantine, Pete. "FM Poll: Wolf Holds Lead in Democratic Primary". Franklin & Marshall College. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  28. ^ Foster, Brittany (May 2, 2014). "PA-Gov: McCord Releases Chilling Negative Ad Against Wolf". PoliticsPA. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  29. ^ Foster, Brittany (April 24, 2014). "PA-Gov: Schwartz Accuses Wolf of Plagiarizing "Fresh Start" Plan". PoliticsPA. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  30. ^ "Poll: Wolf maintains lead in Democratic governor race". The Morning Call. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  31. ^ Foster, Brittany (May 20, 2014). "PA-Gov: Wolf Wins Democratic Nomination". PoliticsPA. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  32. ^ "National Poll Report" (PDF). Robert Morris University Polling Institute. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  33. ^ "Franklin & Marshall College Poll" (PDF). Franklin & Marshall College. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 4, 2014. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  34. ^ "Pennsylvania Statewide Poll September 2–3, 2014". Harper Polling. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  35. ^ "Pennsylvania Governor Poll October 26–27, 2014". Harper Polling. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
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  37. ^ "NBC News Projects: PA's Corbett Ousted by Democrat Tom Wolf". NBC News. November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  38. ^ Jackson, Peter (January 20, 2015). "WOLF TO TAKE AS PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR; STACK SWORN IN AS LT. GOVERNOR". Associated Press. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  39. ^ McKelvey, Wallace (December 9, 2014). "Governor's Residence to remain open, even as Tom Wolf plans commute to Harrisburg". Harrisburg Patriot-News. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  40. ^ McKelvey, Wallace (January 20, 2015). "Wolf's first actions include gift ban, required bidding on legal contracts". Harrisburg Patriot-News. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  41. ^ Finley, Ben (January 31, 2015). "Wolf restores fracking ban in state parkland". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  42. ^ Slobodzian, Joseph (February 13, 2015). "Wolf halts death penalty in Pa". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  43. ^ Kanuch, Nathan (March 11, 2015). "PA-Gov: Wolf Presents Budget Legislation". PoliticsPA. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
  44. ^ Field, Nick (July 31, 2015). "PA-Gov: Wolf Rated Most Liberal Governor in U.S." PoliticsPA. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  45. ^ Hardison, Lizzy (August 11, 2015). "PA-Gov: Wolf Rejects "Most Liberal" Ranking". PoliticsPA. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  46. ^ Alexandersen, Christian (June 30, 2015). "Gov. Tom Wolf vetoes Republican budget proposal. Now what?". The Harrisburg Patriot-News. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  47. ^ Field, Nick (July 1, 2015). "PA-BGT: Wolf Vetoes Budget". PoliticsPA. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  48. ^ Alexandersen, Christian (June 27, 2015). "Pa. House passes GOP-created budget proposal to the dismay of Democrats". The Harrisburg Patriot-News. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  49. ^ Langley, Karen (July 2, 2015). "Wolf vetoes GOP liquor privatization bill for Pennsylvania". The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  50. ^ Addy, Jason (January 21, 2016). "Wolf: Year One". PoliticsPA. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  51. ^ Addy, Jason (March 23, 2016). "PA-BGT: PA Gets a Budget". PoliticsPA. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  52. ^ Printz v. United States
  53. ^ http://www.fox29.com/news/local-news/83350124-story
  54. ^ Garcia, Deanna. "Pennsylvania Implements National 'It's On Us' Sexual Assault Initiative". Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  55. ^ "Wolf Administration Awards First-ever 'It's On Us PA' Grants to Combat Campus Sexual Assault | GantNews.com". gantdaily.com. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  56. ^ "Governor Wolf Signs Bill Prohibiting State from Contracting with Businesses that Boycott Israel".
  57. ^ "Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania governor, diagnosed with prostate cancer". CNN. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  58. ^ McKelvey, Wallace (January 25, 2017). "Gov. Tom Wolf wins cancer fight, gets 'clean bill of health'". Harrisburg Patriot-News. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  59. ^ Couloumbis, Angela; Navratil, Liz. "Gov. Wolf to declare opioid emergency in Pennsylvania". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  60. ^ Seidman, Andrew. "Tom Wolf says he's the 'small business governor.' Pa. business groups aren't so sure". Philly.com. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  61. ^ "Primary results for Pennsylvania's House, Senate, and governor races". Vox. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  62. ^ Levy, Mark (6 November 2018). "Tom Wolf wins Pa. governor's race". Associated Press. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  63. ^ Segelbaum, Dylan (November 7, 2018). "Gov. Tom Wolf cruises to re-election but — again — loses York County". York Daily Record. USA Today. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  64. ^ "2014 General Primary – Governor". Pennsylvania Department of State. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  65. ^ "2014 General Election". Elections Information. Pennsylvania Department of State. November 4, 2014. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  66. ^ "Pennsylvania Governor Election Results 2018". Politico. Politico. November 27, 2018.

External links[edit]

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Dan Onorato
Democratic nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania
2014, 2018
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Tom Corbett
Governor of Pennsylvania
2015–present
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Order of Precedence of the United States
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